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    Studying Abroad: What No One Tells You: My Story

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    July 24, 2015

    By Bhanavi Mathur

    I’ve been interested in studying abroad since the 6th grade, ever since I realized what career I want to pursue. I started speaking to universities in the USA since the 8th grade and that was it for me. I was sure I’m going to be studying Fashion Design in Hollywood. It was one of those things that you’re as sure of as the fact that you’re breathing.

    But fate and destiny happen to have a rather interesting sense of humor because somehow, even after getting accepted to my dream school in the US, I ended up in the UK.

    How? First year done and I’m still trying to figure that one out *sheepish look*.

    Well, now that you’ve had some of my story, lets get to what studying abroad really is all about.

    First of all, they are not kidding when they tell you that you’re going to have the time of your life. But what nobody tells you is how you get there.

    So being the darling that I am, I will go ahead and burst the happy-go-lucky idea that has, for so long, surrounded the entire notion of studying abroad.

    1. Bitter Sweet Candies – That moment when you’re at the airport with your friends and family will be the absolute worst and the absolute best. On one hand, you’re at the cross road where you’re just a step away from that final tug that will push you closer to your dream; on the other hand, you’re going to be leaving your entire life and everyone you love behind, stepping into the unknown.

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    2. A Personal Shack Where I Curl-Up And Miss Home- Moving into your accommodation will feel like you’ve been given a blank canvas with which you can be your self and do whatever you want (as long as you do not damage anything because it’ll hurt your pockets, massively). And no, I’m not kidding. Accommodation officers can be scary. #BleedingPockets

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    3. The Hills Have Eyes, Psh, No; They’re Sadists- First day at University: You’re going to want to run for the hills. In my case however, I had to climb the damn hill to just get to the campus. This resulted in me panting like a dog by the end of it and the hour that was spent in getting ready that morning, going down the drain. #MakeUpNazis

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    4. CBSE, Why You No Make Me Smart? No matter how confident you are in your talent, education and abilities you will be intimidated as hell once you meet your peers, especially if you’re from a CBSE background. Why? Simply because education systems vary across the world and in The UK’s case, you will realize how people, who are the same age as you, would already have BTech or foundation degrees that you know jack-squat about, which basically mean you’re screwed. Yeah, pretty much. #EducationBackfired

    5. Introducing Firangi Mrs. Kakkar – Meeting professors isn’t all that great either, especially if you end up having a batch of about seventy students in your course. But with time you’ll realize how comfortable some of their company and advice may be or how some may turn out to be absolute witches, descended to be your personal hell. This is will also beapplicable to some of your peers. Where Them Hot Brit Professors At?

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    6. Hum Bhi Dheet Hai, Hum Indian Hai – You will feel the bias and racism around you but you’ve got to take it with a pinch of salt or rather, I suggest you kick some ass because come on, that so much more fun and liberating plus we’re all hot-headed Indians, gotta make our country proud! #HindustaniKhoon

    7. Burnt Bhindi for Dinner, Anyone? Did you have your parents push you into taking cooking lessons but you refused because you were cocky about the fact that you know how to cook? Well, I feel you. Let’s just say cooking just for one isn’t the most pleasant activity after a long day at Uni. And you want to know what’s worse? Cleaning those damn dishes! This, my friend will be the time when you’ll miss all your domestic help with a passion – Self Proclaimed Kaam Waali Bai.

    8. If you’re amongst the lucky few who have the option, you can join multi cultural clubs and society and meet with other Indian peeps that will happily rant with you. Trust me, there is nothing better than having a fellow Indian to rant with while people around you have no clue of what you’re on about.

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    That entire rant aside, you’ll suffer and live in so many ways but you’ll cherish the experience more than anything. And very honestly speaking, mummy ka khana will feel like heaven when you’re home. But not for long because once you’re home, you’ll miss the life there endlessly. So take my word, enjoy it while it lasts.

    Oh and to finish it off, here are a few tales from the ol’ Shakespearean land, I’d like to tell ya!

    STORY TIME!

    1. YORKSHIRE PUDDING DILEMMA – TO EAT OR NOT TO EAT? One of the most peculiar things I’ve come across in the one year that I’ve spent in England, happens to be their food. Why, you ask? Well I’m sure most of you would have heard of the Sunday roast dinner, for those of you who haven’t, it’s basically a plate of food that includes roast beef, mashed potatoes, vegetables that more often than not include mushy peas, Yorkshire pudding which is basically made of out of flour, milk and eggs. And all that is topped off with brown gravy. It may sound harmless and rather delicious but trust me, one look at that plate and you’ll get prison vibes. 

    2. GERMANS BE TOO COOL FOR THEIR OWN GOOD- So during our lecture, my professor, clad in mom jeans, brogues, a red shirt and her statement red lip asks us what the term commodification. As soon as that question was out, I was grinning from ear to ear but that was just me. One look around the class and I had that that ego kick. Not to be mean or anything, but some British peeps are really dense. Now before I finally move towards the punch line, I feel it’s my duty to explain what the term really means. So commodification, in simple words is basically anything that can be bought or sold. So moving on, this Columbian/German guy in my class, (very hot, by the way and very cocky, sadly) stands up, brimming with overconfidence and says (Imagine Sofia Vergara while you read this) “Is it like comfort?”

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    I can swear there was a moment of silence around the room and I could almost hear the Marxists roll in their graves. And you’d think he would have learnt his lesson the first time but no, this exact same thing happened twice resulting in me bursting out laughing, and not so lady-like at that. And I can swear I see him narrow his eyes at me each time I come across him around campus. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy breaking his ego.

    3. IT’S A FOODIE’S BUSINESS – Brits love them some Chicken Tikka Masala. So much that Google also indicates (or used to) it being their national dish. And they claim that it originated in the UK and apparently, fish and chips aren’t a British invention. They just simply combined the two and called it their own. Seriously, do you see a pattern there?f06af1c044205f0b67b1731dda66e5d2Not tired of reading yet? Wanna know some more inside stuff? Check out my part 2:

    Studying Abroad: What No One Tells You Part TWO: My Life In Uni Housing: Horror Stories

    So that’s all folks! 

    Got some of your stories to share too? We are eager to hear…share away….

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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